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Red Cross Prepares for TS Erika

Storm Surge

The American Red Cross is preparing to help when Tropical Storm Erika comes ashore on the United States mainland over the weekend.

In Florida, Red Cross workers are ready to respond across the state as Erika nears. Working with local and state officials, the Red Cross is prepared to open numerous shelters and provide meals and other relief services as needed. Red Cross workers are making plans for evacuation shelters, working with partners help people with special needs and also people with pets.

The storm is expected to move up the East Coast, and Red Cross workers in Georgia are making response plans with local and state officials.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is already assisting people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands where Erika is still affecting the weather. On the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, seaports are closed and power is out in some areas. The Red Cross is supporting numerous shelters and will hand out relief supplies to people where they are needed.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Ignacio could come close to Hawaii as early as Monday with strong winds and heavy rain. The Red Cross already has pre-positioned supplies on Hawaii and is watching the situation closely, ready to respond as needed.

HURRICANE SAFETY People in the path of the storms should check their disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed. Emergency preparedness kits should include enough supplies for at least three days in case someone has to evacuate. Water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents should go in every kit. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home.

You’ve packed your kit. What else should you do?

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local media outlets for critical information about the storm.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and get some extra cash.
  • Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you don’t have shutters, close and board up all the windows with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible.
  • If you have propane, turn off the tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • If you are ordered to evacuate, obey the order, avoiding flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • For more details on hurricane safety, visit the hurricane preparedness section of this web site.

    WESTERN WILDFIRES Hundreds of Red Cross workers are helping those people impacted by the raging wildfires out west. Details are available here.

    DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can also download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency App which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

    HOW YOU CAN HELP People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.